The Cougar varsity seemingly wrapped up the second seed in next month’s 12th District Tournament by defeating the visiting Edmonson County Wildcats 69-61 last Friday evening in Cougar Gym.
With just one district game remaining on the schedule, at home next week against Whitesville, a team they beat by 17 points last week, the Cougars stand at 3-2 in district play. They trail only Butler County, who is currently perfect in district play.
In the opening game, the JV boys picked up another win, 50-37 over the Wildcats.
The Cougars got off to a quick start, taking an 8-2 lead on a Braxton Williams lay-in with 6:24 left in the first period. But the Wildcats came back and the rest of the quarter stayed close. There were three ties and three lead changes before the end of the period.
Cole Bedwell’s three-point play with 1:12 left to play gave the Wildcats a 17-15 lead, but freshman Zac Williams scored on a lay-up with 44 seconds remaining to tie it 17-17. Cougar freshman Gage Akridge buried a three-pointer with 16 seconds left to put the Cougars back in front 20-17 heading into the second quarter.
Edmonson County opened the second period with a 9-2 run to lead by four points, 26-22 at the 5:52 mark. The Cougars responded with five straight to retake the lead, 27-26 with 5:15 left in the first half.
The score was tied four more times before Williams hit another three with 26 seconds remaining to give the Cougars a three-point edge, 40-37 at the break.
Grayson County held the lead throughout the third quarter, with the margin see-sawing back-and-forth between one and five points. The Cougars led by five points, 52-47 as play began in the fourth quarter.
Leading by just two points, 55-53 with 6:23 left, the Cougars scored six straight, two baskets by Williams,, and a lay-up by Logan Ramsey, and the Cougars had their largest lead of the night, 61-53.
A rebound basket by Bedwell with 2:28 left in the game cut the Cougar lead to four points, 61-57, but the Wildcats were never closer than six points the rest of the way.
The Wildcats put three players into double figures, led by Michael Poteet with a game-high 20 points. Branden Hinkley had 15 points, while Bedwell finished with 14.
The Cougars also had three players in double figures, led by Williams, with 17. He also led the Cougars on the boards with six rebounds. Ramsey and freshman Tanner Tyra both had 12 points.
Senior Rance Whobrey scored eight points and pulled down four rebounds. Talon Gary had seven points and added five rebounds. Freshman Cole Akridge had good minutes off the bench and scored six points. His twin brother Gage also had good minutes, scoring three points and picking off four steals.
The coaching staff has begun to give the good group of freshmen playing time at both the JV and varsity level, and the move has begun to pay dividends at both levels.
In this game, the Cougars dressed nine players and all of them reached the scoring column.
Grayson County opened the first period with a 13-2 run, including a Gage Akridge three-pointer, then led 15-4 at the start of the second quarter.
A Zac Williams three-pointer at the 4:07 mark pushed the Grayson County lead to 12 points, 20-8, but they led by just nine, 26-17 at the half.
Grayson County opened the third quarter on a 10-2 run, capped off by another Zac Williams three-pointer, to open up a 17-point lead, 38-21 at the 3:51 mark. The Cougars led by 19, 44-25 heading into the final period of play.
Four Cougar points opening the fourth quarter saw the Cougars take their largest lead of the night, 23 points at 48-25. The Wildcats then put together a 9-0 run to cut their deficit to 14 points, 48-34 with 1:55 left, but that would be their last gasp.
Sophomore Dylan Woodcock led all scorers with 13 points and added three rebounds. Junior Lane Decker had eight points, four rebounds, two assists and three steals. Sophomore Lane Rackley scored seven points and added three rebounds.
Gage Akridge had five points, three rebounds and three steals. Three players, Colton Williams, Cole Akridge and Tanner Tyra had four points apiece, Zac Williams had three and Tristan Willis had two to complete the Cougar scoring.